BY: Julia P.
It’s nice to meet you! I’ve been a friend of these two since middle school and man how time flies. To think we’re working on advanced degrees or getting our feet wet in the world that is a full time job. Similar to Bailey, I’m working full time at my first job just getting the hang of that adulting life. But we’re not here to talk about how to adult or excel at work today, today is about having fun.
The shocking thing about being out of school and pursuing a career is that summer isn’t a break anymore. The weather gets nicer, the Colorado mountains call you to them, and yet, you’re still at work. And, in my case, single as well. So today is all about falling in love with yourself during the summertime (and soaking in all the sun, flowers, and warm rains). To me, there is no better way to do so than giving yourself simple gifts, making delicious food, and enjoying the best summer has to offer.
Get Yourself Some Flowers
Probably one of the most cliché places to start but I believe that clichés are clichés because they work. Bring the summer inside with some flowers placed inside vases (or, in my case, glass jars previously used for almond butter) – bonus points if you can get local flowers.
My neighborhood has natural flowers growing everywhere, so I got mine from a neighbor who was pulling them out of the ground after she lost an argument with her roommates on keeping the flowers. The best thing about this was getting to meet a new person – I may be introverted but I enjoy meeting new people. Fair warning, being an adult does mean you have to talk to strangers sometimes.
Flowers plus a positive memory keep my mood high – even when I’m feeling the stress of the never-ending busyness of work. Plus there are a ton of health benefits of having plants indoors.
All the Tasty Treats When I feel restricted, I get frustrated. When I don’t feed myself right, I feel down and low-energy. So with my midday and post-dinner snacks, I try to walk that line between treats and energizing food for all my summer adventures. Now, it’s been rainy and chilly here so lately my summer treats have varied to accomodate how hot or cold I am.
For the rainy days, my go to treat is cake in a mug. Not gonna lie, I have a huge sweet tooth I’ve never been able to kick and being able to whip together a quick dessert (or midday snack) has not helped. However, I’d like to think it’s better than eating a box of cookies after dinner. I’ve included my approximate lazy-girl’s recipe below for you all:
Cake in a Mug
4 Tbs of Flour
1 Tbs of Sugar
1 Tbs of Brown Sugar
1-2 Tbs of Cacao Powder (depending on your tolerance of Cacao’s bitterness)
1 tsp of Baking Powder
½ Tbs of Coconut Oil
3-4 Tbs of Almond Milk (as much as needed to end up with a cake like consistency)
Mix all the ingredients together in a mug and pop it in the microwave for one minute. Cook for longer if it’s still a little liquidy on top. Mug cakes are not an exact science.
For a healthier, warm alternative, I tend to go for a rice and bean chili. All warm meals are best enjoyed with a nice book while the rain patters lightly outside. I highly recommend throwing on a playlist from the YouTube channel alexrainbirdMusic.
On the other side of summer are the warm days where you’re sitting on a beach (at a lake or the ocean – we’re landlocked over here in Colorado) or laying on a picnic blanket under a huge tree in a park. My all time favorite warm day snack is watermelon. I mean nothing really beats watermelon. Squeeze some lime over the top of your slices and you’re good to go.
If you’re looking for something more advanced though, I highly recommend these Tropical Coconut Popsiclesfrom Pick Up Limes. I’m definitely gonna be making these for my families Fourth of July get together.
Visit Summer Festivals Alone or with friends, summer festival’s are one of my favorite activities. It’s all about taking the time to get out into the world and see what other people have been creating. Plus, with a background of local music and the happiness of the surrounding crowd, I have only had positive experiences at festivals this year.
What I will say about festivals is that they can be busy places - hard for introverts or those with sensory issues. I’ve got five tips for enjoying yourself at a festival:
Stay hydrated and fed (put on some sunscreen while you’re at it). Stop and look at the booths. If you’re with friends, tell them you want to stop. I can’t count how many times I’ve been with friends who just walk past everything and then declare the festival boring. Dance to the music – even if it’s just on the sidelines and even if you’re just bopping slightly to the beat. Walk slowly. Life is so fast-paced in a city, your time off doesn’t have to be that way. Take pictures. This might not be true for everyone but, when I take out my phone to take a picture, it gives my brain the signal this is important. Plus, I like to look through my pictures on plane rides. Read and Write In school, reading and writing seemed so constant - so familiar. I always loved both of them but, as an adult, they are two hobbies that have fallen away. Summer, with its extra hours of daylight, provides the perfect opportunity to pull these hobbies back into my life.
My go to for doing this is to make it a whole event. When I’m in my apartment with Internet and a computer, it’s easy to let my book and notebook fall out of my grip in favor of a YouTube video or text (or, let’s be real, hours of Netflix). I love taking my book and writing materials to the botanic gardens and plopping down on a bench to begin my hobby revitalization endeavor.
Live Slowly My final tip for really enjoying every moment with yourself is to live slowly. Notice the flowers sprouting between the cracks in the sidewalk. Notice the beat in your music or the sound of the wind. Stare at the clouds in the sky, look up at the branches of blooming trees, and marvel at all the little things in life. Savoring the moment is the way to make a truly memorable summer. Making all the delicious food, surrounding yourself with beautiful flowers, attending festivals, and immersing yourself in a book or your writing won’t stick with you if you’re moving too quickly to absorb these moments.
So, Ramblers, get out there, dance in the sun and the rain, make your own popsicles, stroll through nature, and get yourself some flowers while you’re at it.